A very strange thing happened today. I went into Waterstones… and I didn’t buy any books.
Yes, I have decided to spend sensibly until I get a job, so no new books at the moment – especially not with Christmas around the corner! Rather conveniently, today’s Twitter #bookadayuk topic is a book you would like for Christmas, and since you have obviously been wondering what to buy me for the past few weeks, here are a few of the books I have my eye on:
The Restoration of Otto Laird by Nigel Packer
Otto is a former architect enjoying his retirement… until he learns that one of his most significant buildings is to be torn down, and he decides to do to everything in his power to save it. He’ll have to return to London for the first time in twenty-five years, and it’ll have him thinking about his past, present and future. In short, this is exactly my kind of book.
Adultery by Paulo Coelho
I have wanted to read something by Paulo Coelho for a while, I just haven’t got round to it yet. This one is about a woman who seems to have everything, but just isn’t happy. That wouldn’t normally sound very interesting, but I like the tone of the little snippets I’ve read in the shop, and Twitter is full of brilliant quotes from it.
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
How do you solve a mystery when you can’t remember the clues? That is a brilliant tagline. Maud is forgetful. She makes tea and forgets to drink it. However, she knows something has happened to her friend, Elizabeth, and she’s going to find out what. This is described as a psychological thriller, which is a little edgier than I prefer to read, but I like the idea.
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Thériault
A lonely postman takes to steaming open envelopes and reading letters before he delivers them. One couple’s letters, composed of haiku, catch his attention, and he begins to fall in love with a woman he’s never met. This is such an interesting, unusual idea for a novel – I’d like to see how it works out.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Yes, I go on and on about this book. So, yes, I have owned it at some point. However, I lent my copy (first edition, hardback) to a former colleague who never returned it. This is why we can’t have nice things!
Now you will be worried that I will end up with several copies of each book, so here is a handy checklist when looking for a book that I am likely to like:
Fiction or non-fiction? Fiction.
Genre? Well, a process of elimination is easier here. Can it be easily fit into the categories of crime, thriller or horror? Then it’s a no. Normally, novels that have to be shelved under Waterstones’ general Fiction A-Z are your best bet. (However, I do love science fiction in the context of some kind of dystopia. And you’ll notice I listed a thriller on my wish list above. So it’s never that simple. Except when it comes to horror. I won’t read horror.)
Classic or new? New. Plus, if it was published between the beginning of November and Christmas, you’ll know I haven’t already bought it.
Literary or trashy? Somewhere in the middle. No pretentious nonsense; no vacuous drivel.
Plot? Yes, please.
Characters? You know if there is an elderly main character, I will probably find them interesting. Also, I don’t generally like protagonists you love to hate; I just hate them.
Cover? I’m not judging.
There you go! I look forward to your excellent choices.
What books would you like for Christmas?
P.S. I also like poetry.
P.P.S. Especially when it rhymes.